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Cemetery damaged

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October 14, 2003

Abbeville-- More than thirty grave sites at Stubbs Cemetery in Abbeville are damaged.

Sometime Thursday night or early Friday morning, vandals tore through the century-old cemetery, overturning headstones.

In most cases, the damage cannot be repaired. Broken headstones and shattered statues--Stubbs Cemetery in Abbeville is a mess.

"Awful. First time we've ever had anything like this happen to us." Wright Tomberlin was first to discover the vandalism on his regular morning walk Friday. Today, he's cleaning the damage to his sister's grave, "We had one of these angels on each on of them, they broke one and it was laying in the road."

Abbeville Detective Debbie Hightower thinks the damage could be some kind of practical joke, "I'm leaning more to just meanness. I hate to say that word it's just how can you describe someone that would come to a cemetery and do such damage."

The most damaged graves are those of children like Grady Pitts who was six years old when he died in 1912. The only reason for this could be that children's headstones are smaller, and therefore, easier to destroy. Hightower says, "I noticed that myself and it hits real hard, it really does. We have a lot of children's headstones here that were just broke in half."

Cracked headstones that in some cases are one hundred years old and will be expensive to repair or replace. Stubbs Cemetery is mostly maintained by volunteers and donations. The GBI does have some suspects.

Posted at 4:23 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

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